Construction on the horizon for Parcel C

Construction of a building on Parcel C at the corner of Maple and Water streets in Naugatuck is expected to start next week. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — A chain link fence and construction signs have sprouted around the vacant lot downtown known as Parcel C.

According to developer John Lombard, who owns the property at the corner of Maple and Water streets with Rob Oris under the name Heritage Downtown LLC, construction is expected to begin on the property next week.

The Zoning Commission gave its blessing last July to plans for a 34,923-square-foot, two-story building with medical offices, retail space and apartments to be built on the site.

In October, Oris said the company was expecting to break ground before winter.

However, Lombard said, the start of construction was delayed because they had to renew the lease with St. Mary’s Hospital — the building’s main tenant — and finalize all of the design work.

“The design stage of the process is a bit time consuming,” Lombard said.

Last week, the Zoning Commission approved a requirement for a $191,000 bond from Oris and Lombard for the project. The bond will be put toward work on sidewalks, curbing, and the upgrade and realignment of the stoplight, if the developers fail to do any of those things.

Lombard said there is nothing else to hold up the start of the construction.

Lombard and Oris are seeking a one-year extension on the special permit they got for the project. The commission will hold a public hearing on the extension at its meeting in March.

Attorney Kevin McSherry, who represents Heritage Downtown, said the special permit doesn’t expire until July. However, Lombard and Oris wanted to remain on top of the issue and apply for the extension early, he said.

If things go as planned, construction is expected to wrap up and St. Mary’s is expected to move into the building in October, according to Lombard.

Lombard said construction should move quickly because the majority of it will take place during the spring and summer, which means the company won’t have to worry about snow and freezing temperatures halting work.

“They have a very ambitious schedule to get the building done. I am very excited about that,” Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ronald Pugliese said.

Pugliese said developing the parcel will help spur development in other areas.

“The idea of seeing something going on that parcel is going to inspire brand new development. After years of telling people this is what we are going to do, we will do it,” Pugliese said.